Barnes allowed two hits and an inherited runner to score in two-thirds of an inning in Tuesday night's win over the Orioles.
Barnes was dreadful in August when he allowed 12 runs in 10.2 innings and appeared to be pitching himself out of high-leverage situations as well as any discussion about the postseason makeup of the bullpen. But with the roster expansion, manager John Farrell has been able use him less frequently and get him some rest. While Tuesday's performance wasn't ideal, it was his eighth straight scoreless outing and the rest he's gotten this month puts him in a better position for October baseball.
Barnes showed much promise over the first four months of the season, but his season has been undermined by a terrible August. He's allowed 12 runs on 12 hits and six walks in 9.2 innings this month. Once considered a possible eighth-inning option, Barnes appears lost. "I think I'm at the point now where I need to sit down and reevaluate what I'm doing," Barnes told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. "This is probably one of those portions of your career where you've been in the league long enough where teams have a lot of video and have seen you pitch. They're adjusting to you."
Barnes pitched 2.1 innings Tuesday in Baltimore after starter Eduardo Rodriguez exited early with a hamstring injury. He gave up two runs on one hit and one walk with two strikeouts, but came away with no decision when the rest of the Red Sox bullpen blew their 3-0 lead in the seventh inning.
Barnes left two inherited runners on first and second when he departed with one out in the seventh, and Fernando Abad turned those into the two runs on his ledger by allowing both to cross home plate on a Matt Wieters single. The 26-year-old would've likely been in line for his fourth win after picking up right where Rodriguez left off.
Barnes, one day after picking up the first save of his career, was tagged for three runs on three hits in a third of an inning in Wednesday night's 9-4 loss to the Yankees.
Barnes was the first of a string of relievers that served up eight runs on eight hits over the course of the seventh and eighth innings Wednesday, delivering another gut-punching loss to Boston. Barnes has done a lot of good out of the pen this season for Boston, but there are times when his high-90s fastball doesn't waver. When that happens, major league hitters can make him pay.
Barnes entered a 5-3 game against the Yankees with two outs in the ninth and struck out the final hitter to earn his first save of the season.
Regular closer Craig Kimbrel had been pitching the ninth but was surprisingly ineffective, recording just two outs on 37 pitches and walking in a run before being removed in favor of Barnes. After the game it turned out that Kimbrel was dealing with knee soreness in the same knee that landed him on the DL earlier this summer. Brad Ziegler would seem to be the replacement closer should Kimbrel miss time, but Barnes has been solid this season, with a 2.98 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.
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|2012||AFA-Salem Red Sox||5||5||3.58||20||20||1||1||0||93.0||85||42||37||6||8||25||91|
|2013||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||1||0||0.00||1||1||0||0||0||5.1||3||0||0||0||0||2||7|
|2013||AA-Portland Sea Dogs||5||10||4.33||24||24||0||0||0||108.0||112||62||52||11||4||46||135|
|2014||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||8||9||3.95||23||22||0||0||0||127.2||119||60||56||8||3||46||103|
|2015||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||1||1||4.06||17||5||0||0||0||37.2||36||17||17||3||1||22||41|